Dead prisoners are free,
Shoulders are the best makeshift stretchers,
Have you ever buried a child?
Do you know pain so sharp it cuts you in half?
How do people live without light?
Eyes get accustomed to darkness,
feet to stumbling,
hands to groping,
I am trying to write a poem about pain,
and a love growing like a rose between cracked walls,
parched petals holding on to life,
about prayers that sound like a dry throat and a tongue rasping against the roof of the mouth,
about life lived like a strange dance between pill time and sleep time,
A poem about dying out in the open, on a field devoid of tree,
The human face is a chameleon.
Eyes are like canvas,
there is something especially beautiful about the ones that have seen everything.
We are all fighting a battle,
Clinging to sanity like a raft,
Many have lost, many have lost far more.
– Chika Jones, July 2017
PS: The first line in this poem came from the film: Blood and Henna by Kenneth Gyang and the film itself inspired this poem. In fact, i wrote this, seated at the screening of the film at the first Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST).